Promoting and Protecting Whistleblowers.
Last year, the Coalition for Integrity gave Special Recognition to the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency for the work that inspectors general do to promote accountability in the federal government, fight fraud, waste and abuse in federal spending and enforce ethics laws. Inspectors General could not carry out their duties without the help of persons in their agencies who have the guts to report alleged violations of law or regulations.
Allegations about the whistleblower’s character or motive must NOT be the basis for outright dismissal of the report or discreditation of the whistleblower. But the credibility of the report is determined by the inspector general or whatever authority receives the report. Whistleblower complaints should be thoroughly and carefully investigated.
The many whistleblower laws (The Dodd-Frank Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, False Claims Act, Taxpayer First Act) all guarantee anonymity to the whistleblower and freedom from retaliation. That is the only way to promote reporting and protect the person from retaliation. The torrent of abuse currently aimed at the national intelligence whistleblower is shameful and absolutely contrary to the purpose of the statutes created to protect such persons.
We thank Senator Grassley for his strong support for whistleblowers and highly recommend his press release. We agree with Senator Grassley that “Uninformed speculation wielded by politicians or media commentators as a partisan weapon is counterproductive and doesn’t serve the country.” The Coalition for Integrity strongly condemns demonization of any person who in good faith has reported fraud, waste, abuse of office or ethics violations in the manner proscribed by the relevant law.